In the Best Interest of the Children

In the Best Interest of the Children is a 1992 American made-for-television fact-based drama film starring Sarah Jessica Parker who plays a woman struggling with manic-depression while raising her five children. This leads to the children eventually being taken from her and put in foster care. The film originally premiered on NBC on February 16, 1992.


The film opens with Callie Cain (Parker) leading her kids in singing along to John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" as she moves back to her hometown of Estherville, Iowa with her 4 young daughters (plus another baby on the way) and boyfriend Ray (Hodges). Although Callie's brother John (Graham) and sister-in-law Wanda (Atkinson) attempt to help them, the abusive Ray (the father of youngest child Jason) has no interest in working, and Callie rebuffs Wanda's suggestion that she continue treatment for the manic depression she suffers from. As a result, the family soon finds themselves living in poverty, with oldest child Jessi (Randall) forced to play mother to her younger sisters (Julie, Susan, and Cindy) and brother. A short time later, Ray leaves them, and Callie continues on a downward spiral.